110 CMR 10.21 - Evidence

(1) General. The Hearing Officer need not strictly follow the rules of evidence. The Massachusetts Rules of Evidence do not apply but the Hearing Officer shall observe any privilege conferred by statute such as social worker-client, doctor-patient and attorney-client privileges. Only evidence which is relevant and material may be admitted and may form the basis of the decision. Unduly repetitious or irrelevant evidence may be excluded.
(2) Oral Testimony. Oral testimony shall be given under oath or affirmation; however, changes may be made in the oath if requested on the grounds of religious principles. All testimony shall be subject to the pains and penalties of perjury. Witnesses shall be available for examination and cross-examination.
(3) Regulations. Statutes and regulations of a state or federal agency shall be admitted into evidence upon the submission of a copy.
(4) Other Documents or Written Material. All documents and written material admitted into evidence shall be authenticated to the satisfaction of the Hearing Officer. Written material from the Appellant's Department file shall be admitted without further authentication.
(5) Stipulations. The parties may stipulate to facts or to testimony that a witness would have given.
(6) Fair Hearings of Support Decision and Alleged Perpetrator Listing. In any case in which an appellant is challenging a Department decision to support a report of abuse or neglect or to list a person's name on the Registry of Alleged Perpetrators, a copy of the report and investigation required by M.G.L. c. 119, ยง51A and B shall be admitted into evidence. When reviewing a support decision or an Alleged Perpetrator listing, the hearing officer may consider information available during the investigation and new information subsequently discovered or provided that would either support or detract from the Departments decision.


110 CMR 10.21

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